Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter continues to make a mostly smooth recovery from the left hamstring strain that he suffered last week.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Carp is scheduled to face live hitters in a batting practice session Friday and could be cleared to resume appearing in Grapefruit League games if everything goes well.
Carpenter gave the Cardinals a little scare when he felt a twinge in the hamstring this past weekend, but he threw an aggressive bullpen session Tuesday and reported no problems during or after.
St. Louis is praying for another ace-like season out of the veteran right-hander, especially in the wake of Adam Wainwright’s recent Tommy John surgery. Carpenter posted a fantastic 3.22 ERA and 1.18 WHIP over 235 innings last year, racking up 179 strikeouts against only 63 walks. He nearly won the National League Cy Young Award in 2009.
The Nationals have acquired left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski and cash considerations from the A’s in exchange for minor league infielder Max Schrock.
Schrock is a 21-year-old second baseman who has been pretty darn impressive in A-ball this year, but the Nats can be excused for giving up promise in 2018 or whatever for some bullpen help come playoff time. Rzepczynski walks a few too many guys for my taste but he strikes ’em out at a pretty decent rate for a LOOGY and the Nats could use another southpaw reliever apart from Oliver Perez. This is especially true given how many tough lefty hitters they may face in the playoffs.
On the basic merits, sure, Rzepczynski for Schrock may look pretty dang good for the A’s in a few years. But this October the A’s will be watching on TV from home while the Nats will be trying to win it all, making the trade pretty darn understandable from their point of view.
Meanwhile, in Tulsa, Zach Welz of the visiting Arkansas Travelers made a spectacular catch. It was the catch Torii Hunter tried to make on that famous David Ortiz homer in the playoffs a few years back except Welz made it.
Watch as he topples over the wall to come up with the would-be dinger off the bat of Tulsa Drillers first baseman Cody Bellinger: